Skip to comments.Exclusive report: Inside HMAS Canberra (Australia's largest ever warship)
Posted on 05/10/2013 9:25:11 AM PDT by naturalman1975
ON the bridge wing of the navy's newest and biggest ever warship, HMAS Canberra, the vast scale of the amphibious assault ship is dramatic and stark.
With Melbourne city silhouetted across a shimmering Port Phillip Bay, the ship's expansive 32-metre wide flight deck stretches for 203 metres as pleasure yachts bob at their moorings more than 30 metres below.
Such is the sheer size of HMAS Canberra that the antennae on top of the ship's stern mast will touch the deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
This Canberra is known as a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) and she dwarfs anything else in the Royal Australian Navy fleet. She is the first of a $3 billion two-ship build. The second, HMAS Adelaide, will arrive early next year.
It is Australian engineering and technical expertise at the BAE Systems' Williamstown shipyard that is putting the finishing touches on vessels that will alter the nation's power projection capabilities forever.
Captain Sadleir says that having the levers of the nation's first truly global military capability is a huge honour.
"This is an amazing self-sufficient capability, but our biggest challenge will be understanding just what we can do with it," he says.
Navy doctrine will change significantly with the arrival of the two LHDs and three Adelaide-built Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers, the most lethal warships ever to serve in the RAN.
The two amphibious assault ships and the AWDs will be home ported at Garden Island in Sydney, but the big ships will spend a great deal of time operating with the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian regiment out of Townsville or representing the nation around the region or the world.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...
While there are no plans to currently exploit it, the retention of the ski jump in the design, means they do have the potential to function as small aircraft carriers in the future, pending a suitable aircraft actually becoming available. That's a capability, I'd love to see us get back - I started my naval career hoping to work on carriers and watched as a socialist government decided not to replace Melbourne abandoning even a limited power projection capability in favour of the idea that all a Navy should ever do is protect a nation's own shores, and meaning when we had to go to war (as we did in 1990, and again in 2001 and 2003) it was as a frigate Navy. At least the Canberra class send a message, that we intend to retain a blue-water navy, rather than accepting green-water status.
Always loved A/Cs that could or actually have sent fighters off to blow the hell out of something. Same thing for America’s big battleships - Missouri, et al. (16” of pure pounder with all the ammunition right below)....
From the ski-jump on the bow it looks like they’re going to support F-35’s.
The Aussies are limited to building what the Chinese will allow them.
What about HMAS Australia?
22,130 Tonnes, 179.8 meters long, 24.4 meters wide, 8 12x45 guns.
OK, this new ship is bigger. But forgetting the RAN’s only battle cruiser?
Not officially - but the ski jump did not have to be retained. Losing it would have meant removing an option for the future, so some people made sure we kept it, regardless of what the official position is at the moment.
May God bless her and all those who sail upon her.
Being able to carry up to 1600 fully equipped combat troops (1000 comfortably)
Presumably, the uncomfortable lot would be the lower ranks.
The WWII Canberra was lost in the Battle of Savo Island and is one of the many ships at the bottom of Ironbottom Sound.
The US Navy named one of its cruisers Canberra, the only Navy ship ever named for a foreign ship or capital.
Don’t see how surface ships have a chance now.
Fair winds and following seas, ‘mates.
USS Canberra CAG-2 was a proud vessel. My brother served aboard her during the Cuban missile crisis. The US lost this gallant ship after it’s service in Vietnam.
The ship's bell on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum:
On the off-chance you were serious, 1600 would be the overload limit. Actual requirement is a battalion, plus headquarters and support troops (total 1000-1100)
It’s nice to see the good guys building ships too. I fear that they may be needed sooner rather than later.
No better friends to America than the Aussies, IMHO. I am glad we so honored them.
Thanks for the photos. My brother used to call the Canberra “One Badass Ship”! He served aboard the Canberra from 1962-1966.
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